It’s no secret getting flights from Australia to the USA, or the opposite is getting extremely difficult to travel to, especially in a premium cabin. The route is popular with both tourists and business people making it an extremely popular route.
The route can be VERY expensive for both off-peak and peak seasons which isn’t affordable for many. Luckily points bring down the price dramatically. However, it takes some patience, persistence, and flexibility.
- Routing through a different country
Flying directly to the USA from Australia in Business class is almost impossible but there are some great way’s to get there but it’ll take some more time.
As an example lets look at this Singapore Airlines flight. This flight goes from Singapore – Seoul – San Fransisco. This flight is available in business class; all the direct flights were ‘waitlisted’ which is like a lottery.
This is another example originating in Seoul. The availability on Asiana and Air China was wide open in both business and first which is amazing! This is a fantastic way to have a better chance for redeeming points for US-bound travel.
Another tip is to look for other capital cities in Australia like Brisbane or Melbourne as they often have more availability.
For Oneworld flyers, these are airport to look at Hong Kong, Tokyo Narita/Haneda, Kuala Lumpur.
For Star Alliance flyers, these are airports to look at Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo Haneda/Narita, New Zealand.
For Skyteam flyers, these are airports to look at Taiwan, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Seoul, Xiamen.
- Be flexible!
This is possibly the most important rule of award travel. Flying a family to the U.S in first or business over the school holidays is impossible (trust me I’ve tried it 😉 ), But if you’re flexible with timing, it will be a lot easier to get those golden seats.
Below is an example of 24 hours before departure for Cathay Pacific and AA, yes there is business seats wide open and first class available. Award seat’s open at different times some are a full year out, and some are last minute. Cathay Pacific release consistent availability last minute which I’ve taken advantage of many times.
- Use Expertflyer alerts
I talked a little about this in my Expertflyer post. An excellent feature of Expertflyer is the ability to set alerts for award seat’s opening. This will save time for people constantly looking for seats. This doesn’t work for all airlines but will for Qantas, Korean, Fiji Airways, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines just to name a few.
- Learn Availability trends
Many airlines release different amounts of seats at different times. Some release very generous amount all year round then there are some that are nearly impossible to get and you have to book a year out.
I heavily recommend you go and read Ben’s post on One Mile At A Time which can be found here – When Do Airlines Open Award Seats?
I also recently wrote about when Virgin Australia release long haul business class award seats.
Hopefully, these tips and tricks help you to find and book business or first class seats to the U.S. It is definitely worth the effort to find the seats.